Moonpaths: Ethics and Emptiness (Paperback)The Cowherds (author)
Paperback 288 Pages / Published: 05/11/2015
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The Mahayana tradition in Buddhist philosophy is defined by its ethical orientation-the adoption of bodhicitta, the aspiration to attain awakening for the benefit of all sentient beings. And indeed, this tradition is known for its literature on ethics, particularly such texts as Nagarjuna's Jewel Garland of Advice (Ratnavali), Aryadeva's Four Hundred Verses (Catuhsataka), and especially Santideva's How to Lead an Awakened Life (Bodhicaryavatara) and its commentaries. All of these texts reflect the Madhyamaka tradition of philosophy, and all emphasize both the imperative to cultivate an attitude of universal care (karuna) grounded in the realization of emptiness, impermanence, independence and the absence of any self in persons or other phenomena. This position is morally very attractive, but raises an important problem: if all phenomena, including persons and actions, are only conventionally real, can moral injunctions or principles be binding, or does the conventional status of the reality we inhabit condemn us to an ethical relativism or nihilism? In Moonshadows, the international collective known as the Cowherds addresses an analogous problem in the domain of epistemology and argues that the Madhyamaka tradition has the resources to develop a robust account of truth and knowledge within the context of conventional reality. The essays explore a variety of ways in which to understand important Buddhist texts on ethics and Mahayana moral theory so as to make sense of the genuine force of morality. The volume combines careful textual analysis and doctrinal exposition with philosophical reconstruction and reflection, and considers a variety of ways to understand the structure of Mahayana Buddhist ethics.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 400 g
Dimensions: 236 x 158 x 19 mm
"How does one square Buddhist ethics with the circle of the doctrine of emptiness? This is, arguably, the single most daunting challenge for those interested in Mahayana thought. This important and timely book, a collaboration between buddhologists and philosophers, is the most significant and sophisticated response to the problem to date." --Robert Sharf, Professor of Buddhist Studies, University of California, Berkeley
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